CKAN package party and general online meetup: Saturday 16th May 2009

We’re planning another CKAN package party + general OKFN online meetup for Saturday 16th of May. It’s a general meetup but with a focus on CKAN packaging so feel free to come and chat about anything open knowledge related — everyone and anyone is welcome. When: Saturday 16th May 2009, 1430-1730 BST (1330-1630 GMT, 0930-1230 […]

Open Data Commons Release v1.0 Release Candidate for Open Database License

Open Data Commons, a project we help host, has put out a v1.0 “Release Candidate” for their Open Database License (ODbL). As it states in the announcement: This updated version of the license incorporates a whole set of changes arising out of the earlier comments period and the main changes are summarized below. As the […]

European Open Data Inventory

We’re currently working on a European Open Data Inventory: This is an inventory of EU-relevant datasets that is being compiled by EU Transparency, the NGO that made and the Open Knowledge Foundation. It includes data that is already available, as well as data that we know exists but is not published – from budget […]

Beta version of the Open Database Licence (ODbL)

As we announced in January the OKF has adopted the Open Data Commons project. As part of the project Jordan Hatcher has been working on a new Open Database License (ODbL) – which went into beta at the end of last month: The Open Database Licence (ODbL) is a licence agreement intended to allow you […]

Working Group on Open Data in Science

We are pleased to announce the launch of a new Working Group on Open Data in Science. In the first instance, the group will aim to: Act as a central point of reference and support for people who think they are interested in open data in science. Identify practices of early adopters, collecting data and […]

Open Everything Berlin + CC Salon Berlin

After the success of open everything Berlin last December (see documentation), the newthinking network and CC Salon Berlin teamed up to put on another event in Berlin last night: CC Salon Berlin and openeverything focus – Feb. 26 (CC Blog) openeverything focus + CC Salon (Michelle Thorne’s blogpost) I was invited to speak – and […]

“Open Shakespeare Edition” Book Design

We’ve been thinking for a while that it would be a nice addition to the Open Shakespeare project to produce an “Open Shakespeare Edition” of the Bard’s works. By an ‘Edition’ we meant something designed as a book and suitable for printing: so an elegant title page, relevant front-matter, properly typeset text etc. This could […]

KForge v0.15 Released

Another release of KForge is out. KForge is the software we use to run: The code is now pretty stable, being 1.0 is in all but name and so releases are fewer and further between. This release saw some significant feature additions plus bugfixes and documentation improvements. Changes include: KForge plugin discovery via setuptools […]

Comments on the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data

Here I briefly comment on the Science Commons Protocol for Implementing Open Access Data as the protocol strongly advocates a position of ‘PD’-only. As will be apparent from the earlier essay on Open Data: Openness and Licensing I do not entirely share this view. The Protocol gives 3 basic reasons for preferring the ‘PD’ approach […]

Facts and Databases

[This post is an addendum to the earlier essay on Open Data: Openness and Licensing] It is important to be clear that any IP ‘rights’ in data(bases) are not ‘rights’ in the facts those data represent but in the ‘data collection’ (or database). Here I try to explain the difference (fairly crudely) with some examples. […]

BarCamp UKGovWeb 2009

Last Saturday was BarCamp UKGovWeb at the Ministry of Justice. There were plenty of new faces in addition to the usual suspects! Three sessions that we found particularly interesting: Directgov and Innovation: Directgov have launched a new innovate part of their site, and are keen on supporting innovation around government data (mashups, services, etc.) from […]

Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) 2009: London, 28th March 2009

where: Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL, London when: 28th March 2009, 1030-1830 home: programme: register: call for proposals: last year: The Open Knowledge Conference (OKCon) is back for its fourth installment bringing together individuals and groups from across the open knowledge spectrum for a day of discussions workshops. This […]

Open Data: Openness and Licensing

Why does this matter? Why bother about openness and licensing for data? After all they don’t matter in themselves: what we really care about are things like the progress of human knowledge or the freedom to understand and share. However, open data is crucial to progress on these more fundamental items. It’s crucial because open […]

Interview with Rufus Pollock on NetSquared

Jed Sundwall of Netsquared just published an interview with Rufus Pollock, co-founder of the Open Knowledge Foundation. The interview includes discussion about the distinction between price and value, about the Open Knowledge Definition, about CKAN, about decentralised approaches to working with large quantities of data, about packaging for knowledge and about ‘Shiny Front End Syndrome’. […]

Open Economics: Recent Progress

Recently we made some substantial improvements/additions to our Open Economics project including: Improved javascript graphing. Extend Millenium Development Goals package and added web interface. First efforts at ‘Where Does My Money Go’ Aim: Dig up govt finance info and visualize the results (online) More details on each of these can be found below. Also […]

Icelandic Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

Over the holiday we added an Icelandic translation of the Open Knowledge Definition! Many thanks to Hjalmar Gislason and Icelandic Open Data! If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info (at) the OKF’s domain name.

Open Milton launched for Milton’s 400th birthday!

The 9th of December 2008 is John Milton’s 400th birthday. To celebrate this life-long advocate of liberty we’ve officially launched ‘Open Milton’ – an open set of Milton’s works, together with ancillary information and tools, in a form designed for reuse: The Open Milton project has two main objectives: Provide the works of John […]

Greek Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Greek translation of the Open Knowledge Definition! Many thanks to Ioannis Doukas of King’s College London and the University of Athens! If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info (at) the OKF’s […]

CKAN 0.7 Released

Just in time for our upcoming workshops a new version of CKAN (v0.7) is ready. It provides some major improvements including: Convert to use SQLAlchemy and vdm v0.3 (v. major) Atom/RSS feed for Recent Changes Package search via name and title Tag lists show number of associated packages The CKAN code is available from: […]

Shakespeare v0.6 Released

See which includes full installation instructions. We’ve also reorganized the sites so that the news/blog is here at and the Shakespeare package web interface is at Main changes include: Major refactoring of internal code to be cleaner and simpler A new cleaner and reorganized web interface Search support via Xapian: Statistical […]

Third COMMUNIA Workshop – Marking the public domain

The third COMMUNIA workshop ‘Marking the public domain: relinquishment & certification’ (which we mentioned last week) took place in Amsterdam on Monday and Tuesday. It brought together COMMUNIA members and other relevant parties from across Europe for talks and workshops focusing on legal issues related to the public domain, and how public domain works can […]

Vote for ‘Where Does My Money Go?’ at the Show Us A Better Way poll!

The Guardian’s Free Our Data campaign has set up a poll to help gather people’s opinions on the best entrants for the Show Us A Better Way competition run by the Power of Information Task Force. They also wrote about this in the Guardian a few days back. As we recently posted about, we entered […]

After the open textbook virtual meeting

On Monday we hosted a virtual meeting on open textbooks. A transcript of the meeting is up on the wiki page. There is also a brief writeup on Wikibooks News. Several things to come out of the meeting: There was general agreement that it would great if people interested in and working with open textbooks […]

What can you do with Open Shakespeare?

We’ve recently updated Open Shakespeare. The project was started a while back as an open knowledge ‘exemplar project’ – i.e. as a simple ‘hello world’ type open knowledge package (for more on this see the FAQ). It aims to: Provide the complete works of Shakespeare, along with textual apparatus (introduction, notes) and tools (concordance, search […]

Where Does My Money Go?

Since early 2007 we’ve had a project dubbed ‘Where Does My Money Go?’ on the backburner. In a sentence, the project would be a web application that interactively represented UK government budgetary information using maps, timelines, and best of breed visualisation technologies. We recently submitted the project to the Show Us A Better Way and […]

Some Agricultural History via Open Economics

One of the active Open Knowledge Foundation projects is Open Economics. A substantial part of that effort ends up being data acquisition and ‘cleaning’: getting hold of economic data, parsing it into (computer) usable form and adding it to the Store. (Wouldn’t it be nice if that data was already nicely packaged up or at […]

Database Back Up

Unfortunately due to upgrades of the software on the server the Public Domain Works DB has been down recently. Now, thanks to recent coding efforts it is back up with some early (1900s) data from musicbrainz. Check it out at:

Open Data in Iceland

Hjalmar Gislason recently wrote to us to tell us about an initiative to open up material from the Icelandic government and other public institutions. In The Case for Open Access to Public Sector Data he writes: In these public data collections lies tremendous value. The data that has been collected for taxpayers’ money for decades […]

A Map of Openness?

We’ve recently been in conversation with various individuals about starting a project to map open projects and groups. People who have been particularly keen include: Panagiota Alevizou, London School of Economics Michel Bauwens, P2P Foundation Juan Carlos De Martin, COMMUNIA Heather Ford, iCommons David J Patrick, Linuxcaffe Mark Surman, Shuttleworth Foundation and soon of the […]

Mike Linksvayer of Creative Commons joins Open Definition Advisory Council

We are pleased to welcome Mike Linksvayer, Vice President of Creative Commons, onto the Advisory Council for The Advisory Council, as we announced in February is the body formally responsible for maintaining and developing the Definitions and associated material found on the site – including the Open Knowledge Definition and the Open Software […]

Open Software Service Definition Launched

For more than a year we’ve been working with a variety of groups and individuals to fashion a clear definition of ‘openness’ in relation to online, software-based, ‘services’ (think: search engines, webmail, online spreadsheets, etc). The result, launched today, is the Open Software Service Definition: Simultaneously released, and to which we are party, the […]

CKAN 0.6 Released

Version v0.6 of the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) software has just been released (and simultaneously rolled out to the site). Changes include: Autocompletion (+ suggestion) of tags when adding tags to a package. Paginated lists for packages, tags, and revisions. RESTful machine API for package access, update, listing and creation. API Keys for users […]

Over 200 Packages on CKAN!

Today the number of packages in the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) has passed the 200 mark! CKAN is an open registry of (open) knowledge packages – from genes to geodata, sonnets to statistics. CKAN currently includes basic metadata about each package – including title, URL, download URL, tags, license information and notes. Packages include […]

Italian Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added an Italian translation of the annotated Open Knowledge Definition – thanks to Primavera De Filippi, Andrea Glorioso and Juan Carlos De Martin at the NEXA Center for Internet & Society, Politecnico di Torino! If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in […]

More Text Up from Shakespeare’s Entry in Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition

Another 3 pages (4600 words) are up from the EB 11 Entry on Shakespeare covering most of Shakespeare’s plays in chronological order. Current material can be found on: Encyclopaedia Britannica 11th Edition page Source version (plain text in subversion) can be found at:

Versioned Domain Model v0.2 with Support for SQLAlchemy Released

v0.2 of versioned domain model is now finally done — it was 95% complete in Feb but it has taken another 3 months to iron out the last bugs and polish up! Apart from being a concrete implementation of a system for versioning data(bases) — and therefore important for efforts to do more collaborative development […]

After the first Open Visualisation Workshop

The first Open Visualisation Workshop took place on Saturday as we mentioned last week. Details, notes and links are available on the event’s wiki page. The event took place at Trampoline Systems’ new site in East London. To make sure the event was as informal as it was billed to be – we left the […]

Dispatches from Digistan

Chris Puttick of OpenArchaeology sends news of the Digital Standards Organisation: A new group is being formed to promote open digital standards, starting with a declaration regarding the importance of digital standards being truly open. Part of Digistan’s effort to promote understanding, development, and adoption of open digital standards implies a clear definition of what […]

Beyond Strong and Weak: Towards a Typology of Open Access

Over the past week or so there has been a flurry of posts about ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ open access, including the following: Strong and weak OA, Peter Suber What’s in a Name? Strong and Weak Open Access, Glyn Moody The Two Forms of OA Have Been Defined: They Now Need Value-Neutral Names, Stevan Harnad Lower […]

Open Shakespeare / Milton Mini Hackathon and Planning Session

After a fairly quiet period over the last 6 months development will be hotting up again thanks to discussion at Open Knowledge 2008 and the involvement of Iain Emsley (who will be focusing especially on a sister Milton project). To kick this off we’re planning a mini-hackathon: Wiki page: (sign up here) When: Saturday […]

Basque Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve just added a Basque translation of the Open Knowledge Definition – thanks to Gotzon Egia. If you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, or if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info at the OKF’s domain name.

Catalan and Spanish Translations of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

Following on from a spate of fresh translations of the Open Knowledge Definition last week, we’ve just added translations in Spanish and Catalan – thanks to Ignasi Labastida i Juan of CC Spain and CC Catalonia. Once again – if you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, of if you’ve already done so, […]

Polish Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’re on a bit of a roll with translations of the Open Knowledge Definition! We’ve now got a Polish translation thanks to JarosÅ‚aw Lipszyc. Again – if you’d like to translate the Definition into another language, of if you’ve already done so, please get in touch on our discuss list, or at info at the […]

Danish Translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD)

We’ve now added a Danish translation of the Open Knowledge Definition (OKD) to – thanks to Peter Froberg. We look foward to adding more translations in the near future. If you would like to help out translating the Definition into another language – please don’t hesitate to get in touch on our discuss list.

Creative Commons adopts ‘Free Cultural Works’ seal of approval

Yesterday Creative Commons announced that their Attribution and Attribution Sharealike licenses will feature a seal of approval and link to Freedom Defined – the Definition of Free Cultural Works. We’ve been in touch with Freedom Defined since May 2006 (we blogged about the project last year) as their aims are so similar to that of […]

Open Definition Advisory Council launched

We are pleased to announce the launch of an Advisory Council for The Council will be formally responsible for maintaining and developing the Definitions and associated material found on the Open Definition site – including the Open Knowledge Definition and the Open Service Definition. As many of you will know, these definitions aim to […]